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Diasporian News of Sunday, 28 October 2007

Source: Pastourelle (sabakonor@wanadoo.fr)

SANKOFA Visit to Ghana

SANKOFA (FRANCO-GHANAIAN FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION) BRINGS WARMTH FROM GHANA.

Mr. Ohene Akonor and his wife Hélène (President and Secretary respectively of SANKOFA) who embarked on a Mission Trip to GHANA in August have returned to Toulouse since last September. The delegation had the occasion to witness the PANAFEST at Kumasi and Cape-Coast, held a meeting with the cultural attaché of the French Embassy in Ghana, and met various NGOs and associations. The Daily Graphic (of 18/08/07) published events of their mission.

The SANKOFA delegation were grateful to the audience granted them at the embassy of France by Mrs Francine MEYER – the cultural attaché for cooperation. Mrs MEYER was pleased to learn about the existence of a Franco-Ghanaian friendship Assoc. in France. She deems it laudable to develop joint projects with regard to SANKOFA’s principal objective (i.e. to encourage cultural diversity through socio-cultural exchanges between French & Ghanaians). Mrs. MEYER’s section would be interested in co-production works in music and plastic arts, especially residential workshops/training and capacity building programmes with renowned artists.

Among others, the delegation of SANKOFA met the Baobab Cultural Troupe (of the Baobab Foundation) at Cape Coast. The Foundation devotes to the right of the child. The residential centre for the disadvantage children, based at Kissi, a coastal town near Komenda in the central region of Ghana operates with international volunteers who engage the children in various vocational training programmes. The children cultural troupe put up a superb and a thrilling performance of traditional drumming, singing and dancing at Cape Coast during the PANAFEST event of grand durbar of chiefs.

SANKOFA envisage possible collaborative actions in linking the Foundation with similar educational centres/institutions in France; devising a cultural exchange programme whereby the troupe could participate in festivals & other cultural performance in France; and displaying and selling some of the handicrafts of the Foundation at SANKOFA events.

The delegation is back with lots of ideas and enthusiasm, just needing the time and resources to concretise some possible actions and projects with their Ghanaian counterparts they met.